Recipes &Amp&#59; You - The Ramblings Of A Fledgling Cook Blog at - 210671

The Ramblings Of A Fledgling Cook

Recipes & You 
Dec. 11, 2010 7:22 am 
Updated: Jan. 3, 2011 1:48 pm

Morning all :)

I'm here to day to inquire about something that has held my curiosity for awhile now. Granted some of you veterans here may have already discussed this (I apologize that I didn't get that memo.) Well, I'm here today to ask you what your side of this is. Partly because I'm trying to hone my method myself - mainly because I'm nosy.

So, lets begin. You're up, having a pretty good day, ready to cook a stellar meal tonight for the family or even just yourself. It then dawns on you that you need the perfect side to go with it. You hop on the computer. Log into AllRecipes - you know exactly what you're looking for. Maybe a recipe for a pie you haven't tried in years that would be great for dessert. Or a crusty bread recipe to go with that spaghetti tonight. Whatever it is - you're looking for it and you WILL find it.

Low and behold, you found a recipe (I told you you would.) It seems pretty darn perfect. But then - you give in to temptation and read all the ratings below. Many of them vary - actually they all do. One says this recipe is horrible - run while you can. Another says you can't go wrong with it. And then four or five tell you to add everything under the sun (and even in the galaxy if that wasn't enough already.)

So how do you go from here? Now I know recipes and ratings are like people - you will never find two that are the same. This is a general question - lets just go with your "average" method for the sake of getting some form of an answer. Do you make the recipe just as it is stated? Do you add/subtract a few things from it? Overall - is this something you do a majority of the time?

I ask because for the most part - if I don't follow the recipe the dish either lacks something or is too overpowering. Most people on here (I'd like to think) know what they are talking about when a recipe gets published. Not ALL now - I've seen a few I wouldn't feed my cat. But for the most part its all been pretty good. Besides a little salt, pepper or what have you - I leave it be. 

But then - I have read the ratings. I like to see what others thought as that's what they are there for right? Loads of people rate the recipe once they add something to it (or take something out.) Some of those posts are then negative b.c it turned out awful. Now those ratings I don't really understand (if you altered it and it was bad - make a note but don't judge the whole thing.) But then again I think there are intricacies to this that I couldn't even begin to understand. 

So for anyone who didn't make it through all that - how do you go about handling recipes you find on here. More often than not - do you find yourself altering many or do you try to stick to the book?

I leave you with some fudge I made this morning. I promise its delicious (and I didn't alter the recipe one bit.)

Cookies 'n Creme Fudge
Photo Detail
Dec. 11, 2010 7:43 am
You are very right. I read the ratings also, but the neg ones I take with a grain of salt-mostly. Hang in there you are doing great and sounds like your a young great mom that is giving all to your family. Over the years I tried and failed on somemany meals it is funny. My family is the best at trying my experments. And my husband of almost 30 years , has eaten some really bad dished and some really good ones. Merry Christmas
Dec. 11, 2010 8:13 am
Hi Faith. Basing your decision to make or not make a recipe on the reviews would be doing yourself a disservice. As you grow, cooking this and that along the way, you will develop a deft understanding of how a recipe will taste, simply by reading it. The more you rely on what others say, the longer it will take for you to come to trust your own judgement. So dive right in, if it sounds good, give it a go. Now all that said, once you've started to score a few hits, make your judgements and then if you like, read the reviews. There ARE some great tips contained in them and in some cases, there are crucial bits of information that were left out of the original recipe. Its a potpourri and you can take what you like, leave the rest. In the end, remember that it's food. A few tongues might quiver but nobody gets hurt.
Dec. 11, 2010 8:36 am
Raedwulf is right; it's all about how much experience you have under your belt. The more you cook and bake, the more your instincts will tell you which reviews to take something from, and which ones are a bunch of bunk. The more you cook, the more you will know what tastes good, what works for you and your family, and what to add and subtract from the original recipe. I tend to stick closely to the original recipe the first time I make it, and perhaps switch things up after that. I wouldn't stress about the reviews. Read them and enjoy them for what they are; just other people's opinions in most cases.
Dec. 11, 2010 8:40 am
I always read the reviews but nearly every time I follow the recipe as written the first time I prepare it. I assume that if it worked for the person who submitted it, it will work for me. I do tweak some things as I go. I sometimes don't measure exactly if it's a meat dish, casserole, etc. However, I always measure and follow exactly if I'm baking. I don't want to mess up a cake. You will have successes and failures. We all do but you have to read these reviews judiciously. Some people don't seem to be able to write anything nice. Cooking is like any other undertaking. You get better the more and longer you do it. Your family will love and appreciate your efforts and you will feel a sense of accomplishment for having made something wonderful youself.
Dec. 11, 2010 8:42 am
Hi Faith. I don't usually read the reviews until after I've made a recipe. Sometimes I really wish I had. Unless there is something in the recipe that I am not sure will work or something. I also will adjust a recipe to my family's tastes. But I will not give a bad rating if I changed a lot and it came out badly.
Dec. 11, 2010 8:46 am
Thank you all so much for the wonderful replies :) I can agree with almost all of what has been stated by yall so far - for the most part I go on instinct and it usually tells me to go with the recipe. Once and awhile a suggestion turns out wonderfully (but I usually don't try it til the 2nd time I make the dish - if I felt it was lacking something the first time around.) I'm still learning all of this so I greatly appreciate all the input yall put in. Its nice to know I'm on the right track with how I approach suggestions/comments when its on a recipe!
Dec. 11, 2010 8:56 am
Hey Faith, I read the reviews before making the dish but the reviews don't steer me in any direction on weather to make or not make the dish that has caught my eye. I usually follow the recipe as stated and I adjust to what the family tastes are such as onions, hubby can't stand them (texture thing) so I pulverize them into mush and he is none the wiser!!! Or sometimes I will sub sausage for bacon just because I prefer sausage over bacon. I am not very adventurous when it comes to cooking, I like to follow a recipe. The minor changes that I do , do not change alter the taste of the recipe but I do like to rate peoples recipes. If it tastes good I let them know it and if it doesn't I let them know it but only if I have not made modifications to their recipe. Not everyone likes to eat the same thing, but a recipe is there as a guideline so to speak, so do what you like but don't let harsh judgement deter you from trying it for yourself.
Dec. 11, 2010 9:08 am
Thanks Dragonfly! I'm following pretty much that guideline, only things I really have to omit are mushrooms (the hubby and them do not get along) and like you - I have to pulverize onions or any other veggie so he can't see them, lol. I always see people basing their recipes on the suggestions - I just never understood it. And most of the recipes I've tried have had some pretty bad ratings (but I loved them!)
Dec. 11, 2010 5:09 pm
howdy faith. i can look at a recipe ingredients and know if i want to waste the food, labor and time to make it. i will try to make it as the submitter presented the recipe the 1st time. if i do AND review the recipe i make sure to leave the changes. it will not affect how i rate the orginial recipe. i'm a tweaker...but some oddball recipes that i've tried just because i was bored turned out to be staples...examples balzamic strawberries and dill pickle meatloaf...both just crazy good! great question!
Dec. 11, 2010 8:45 pm
I know the #1 rule to cooking Faith.Make it the first time By The Book. 99% of the time, I do this. I always seem to want to tweak it,whatever It is, I try to resist. You are correct about those who deconstruct a recipe and then give it a sh!ty rating. Not fair, IMO. In fact there is a blog from the other day about this very subject. The pancake experiment? I took the blogger to task about their ratings. Put in one ingred instead of another ingred and then proceeded to give a low score. Again, not fair. If and when I do make a recipe and tweak it, I give a lower score and explain why. Not too often tho. If I have made something for the first time, I have usually rated it. If I make it again and I tweak it, there is no need to fix my rating. Very interesting blog. Thanks for the mind jog tonight!Take care.
Dec. 12, 2010 8:47 am
Thanks yall - I really appreciate all the input! No matter where I blog at - I'm always asking questions. Even if its just pure curiosity, I love knowing how others carry out stuff (and I've now got a few things I want to try thanks to yall's suggestions!) I'm gonna track that blog down now about the pancakes - you have me intrigued :D Hope yall have a wonderful day!
Dec. 12, 2010 11:30 am
Faith, I think the blogger yanked it. I tried last night after I posted here and I could not find it. I must have upset yet another.:(
Dec. 12, 2010 5:01 pm
If someone criticizes a recipe after changing up the ingredients.. I'm smart enough to figure that out on my own and I ignore those reviews. I can also look over a recipe and tell before I make it whether or not it will be good or bad.. that's just basic. I saw someone the other day screaming mad because their recipe got a 3. They came back and argued that it was a blue ribbon-winning recipe.. so how could anyone in their right mind rate it a 3!?! (BTW, the recipe had ALOT OF 3's!) It gets ridiculous and silly and at the end of the day, we all have different tastes, palates and not everything will be perfect. If you're that sensitive to what people say, then don't submit your recipes for publishing. Not every one will be a winner.
Dec. 12, 2010 6:16 pm
I agree with a lot of what has been said above. I look for recipes that I think that my family will like and proceed from there. But I have some priorities. I try to use all purpose staples. I can't have 12 different kinds of onions or potatoes or most of them will go to waste. I prefer to use ground beef over sausage. So I read the reviews to see if others have made these changes and had good results. But I don't rate it down b/c of that. After all, how different can a yellow onion and a white one taste in a recipe?
Dec. 12, 2010 7:34 pm
Patty - that would explain why I couldn't find it! Ah well. Some people need to learn to take criticism without being so hurt. Especially if its constructive. But I know in some cases that just doesn't happen :( Belles, I agree 100%. I'm usually the same way - I was just curious if others were the same (and the majority is - yay!) So far I haven't had any of mine published so I haven't had the joy of experiencing that yet. But even if people rated something I put up badly - I'd know not to take it to heart b.c everyone has different tastes. People should know this! Hot Coco, I've did that many times myself (subbed types of potato, onion, etc.) But I've never rated it down because of that (although so far, they've all been stellar.) Like you - I'm on a tight budget. So glad to know others know how that goes!
Dec. 15, 2010 1:16 pm
I used to think I would be happy if I could get one of my recipes published on here but then I thought not. People would tear it to shreds even though I thought it was a good one. I have submitted many and never gotten one published so I quit. I share with my friends and we all love each others' recipes.
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Faith N

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About Me
Hello! I'm Faith, a 27 year old work from home mom to two sons (8 & 5.) I'm married to my best friend, Michael. We've been together for 10 years now. I'm not sure how he's dealt with me this long! I mainly cook for my family and a few close friends. I love them all for being my willing guinea pigs. I'm not the best by any means but I love to try anything new.
My favorite things to cook
Most of the stuff I cook could be considered comfort food. Not the healthiest method of cooking but if I can substitute something with a healthier alternative I'll do so. Growing up my family's weekly menu was pretty small. Venison, chicken, hamburger, veggies - anything my parents could hunt, grow or make. Growing up on a farm definitely had its ups & downs. A variety of food was not in the "up" category. I always wanted to try something new but their income said otherwise. We couldn't afford to try something we didn't like and didn't finish. Now that I can enjoy both homegrown and purchased ingredients, I am willing to try anything new that sounds good to my family and I.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Two sweet potato pies and a turkey are mandatory at Thanksgiving while white chocolate fudge and a ham is a must during Christmastime.
My cooking triumphs
Barbecue pulled pork, venison meatloaf & homemade butter biscuits.
My cooking tragedies
I will never forget the absolute worst thing I have ever cooked, a Manicotti dish. It was right after we got our own place back in 2005 and I was going to be brave and try something that wasn't Hamburger Helper or grilled cheese sandwiches. It had too much basil, the noodles didn't finish all the way and the sauce blackened at the end. We tried to choke it down but ended up getting takeout. Since then, I think my skills have vastly improved!
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